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Thursday, September 10, 2009

What Are You Prepared To Do?

One of my favorite movies of all time.

The Untouchables with Kevin Costner and Sean Connery. And yes...The Malone/Sean Connery character utters the most profound line in the movie...one that carries over into real life.

"What are you prepared to do?"

No...now I am asking it...it's not a rhetorical question.

A recent Blog of helios reported, as well as many other blogs, that Microsoft is sending literature, and sometimes salespeople, to train and educate employees from Staples, Best Buy and now Office Depot, in the art of Linux FUD.

The outcry from our community has been impressive....as have the actual materials that have been handed out.

Wanna take a guess at which one will have an impact?

Anyone can sit behind a keyboard and express outrage and point out the obvious falsehoods and outright lies.

You can also apply online to take a space shuttle ride.

Both will have the same outcome.

Nothing.

What are you prepared to do?


Who is going to go to the city or county and get a permit to stand on the public entrance and hold well-made signs warning these various customers?

Who is willing to take a Linux laptop into one of these stores and let the salesman give his pitch then categorically prove him wrong?

Who is going to personally visit the Store Manager and tell him that millions of people are now aware of this campaign and sanctions are being prepared if they carry out this deception and FUD?

If only three people in each major city reading this would take just one of these actions...it could have a big impact. Of course, it has to be done professionally and with no outward sense of rancor.

Please remember...you may be dealing with a sales person who is only doing what he was told to do...if he's an MS fanboy, then he will give himself up immediately. YOU are the one that has to stay calm. They have families to feed just like we do. It's not their fault that their management are largely MS quislings...or at the very best, completely uninformed.

And no, I am not going to organize it...I've had too many disappointments in my life recently and I won't pile another one on the heap.

So what ARE you prepared to do?

Right now, I have a roster of people in Austin who are willing to do one or all of these things. There are a lot of stores to cover...and as of now, I am counting the number of people on that roster. As it stands now...the number is:

One.

All-Righty Then

47 comments:

robert said...

I recently installed Linux on a friends computer and he had no idea how to use it. Within ten minutes he was able to accomplish anything he could do in windows. Same for my girlfriend who actually told me to get out of the way and stop trying to explain it to her. She was up and running in less than 5. So much for "Hard to use, Niche software, more expensive, doesn't work on a lot of hardware, etc."
I'm currently converting most of his household to Linux which will be about 2 more adults and 3 kids.
All in all I think Microsoft is just trying to squish the problem before it starts, but they will only succeed in make our community stronger.

Michael said...

I've thought about bringing an Ubuntu or Mint LiveCD into a Best Buy, and telling them that I'm interested in one of their computers, but want to check it's hardware compatibility, to see if they would let me boot it into Linux.

I've also thought about placing LiveCD's in the drives around closing time, so they'll all boot into Linux the next morning.

Having worked at BB in the past, I know that both of those will not be looked upon favorably by management.

Maybe I'll just pick one of the sales guys, and strike up a conversation with him or her about Linux, to dispel the FUD. Talking with a real person, face to face, will probably have a bigger impact on their opinions (and advice) than some printed material.

I know I know, what am I prepared to do, not what am I thinking about maybe possibly doing sometime in the future. I can't answer that yet, sorry, but when I can I'll let you know.

Rob said...

Add one to the roster. KC, KS area. People should definitely have the right to choose their software without biased (read incorrect, false, erroneous) information.

I'd like to chat sometime, Helios. Email doesn't seem to make it through... Should I call the Helios Solutions number?

Erick said...

Hello everyone,

Something bug me a lot here !!! Why M$ did not have include MAC OSX... IE is not compatible with it and so on....

For the hardware compatibility ... about the same as Linux.

The real reason why Macintosh is not listed is because Best Buy, Office Depot, FutureShop (Canada), Staples etc... are selling Macintosh and they are doing $$$ on it and they won't accept to lost $$$ over M$. But with Linux they are not doing any money.

Erick from Montreal

Blog of helios said...

Hey Rob...it's a public number...fixin' to be broadcast to hundreds of thousands over the next two weeks. Call me when you have some time.

h

Michelle Minkin said...

Ken, let me quote someone who told me something a long time ago that I have remembered and practiced to this day.

"No one takes an angry man seriously unless he is pointing a gun."

Do you remember who said that? You did. Not that your blog is angry, not this one. It is well stated and pointed right at the people it needs to be. But people cannot go storming into these stores making demands, waving signs and talking loud. Yes, I know you covered that but I simply wanted to reiterate it.

All it takes is one TV camera to capture some wild-eyed lunatic screaming about "freedom" to screw the whole thing up. We don't have many chances like this, it would be a shame to get the wrong coverage.

Chelle

Anonymous said...

I'm travelling to a local Staples (I live in western Canada) for a few odds and ends that I need, later on today.

I am going to walk up to a salesperson, and ask him or her if they would reccommend Linux or Windows for a netbook.

We'll see what happens. If they start going on about how W7 is better . . . then I will take out my laptop, and do my utmost to refute every single claim they make.

Chalk up another for the Western-Canada region.

Blog of helios said...

@ Canada...

Make sure you either email me or post the results of that visit here...as detailed as you can. We are not only going to do our part on this end but document yours as well.

h

David Meyers said...

Ken. There are many times when I look at the title of your blog then the introductory graphic you have and scratch my head. This one in particular had me puzzled, then I figured it out.

I wonder how many of us will stand still like statues while a few do the work. Thanks for making me think.

David

Grant Johnson said...

More than once, I have walked into a computer store and asked for the Linux compatible hardware, or computer with Linux preloaded.


If they do not have it, or try to steer me toward Windows, I tell them that I am not interested, and leave. A lost sale for them enough times, and maybe they will get a clue.

bjd said...

Most of these sales-people -- at least here in The Netherlands, and I don't entertain many illusions as to the US -- are utterly clueless dimwits anyway.

bjd

kozmcrae said...

@ Chelle

Nothing happens if people aren't motivated. But given your imagination I would suggest you refrain from advocating for GNU/Linux in any retail establishment. Anger is a type of motivation, unfortunately it stems from fear. There's more than enough fear to go around when Microsoft is on the move. If we were talking about political parties instead of operating systems there would have been a full scale revolt by now.

Wild-eyed ranting is not an exclusive attribute of Linux followers. It can happen to anyone. Personally I know enough to avoid confrontations with Microsoft tainted sales-zoids. My Linux advocacy is metered by a switch not a rheostat. I have gone in to Best Buy on several occasions and asked if there were any Linux computers (after looking around and making sure there weren't) and nothing more.

If "All it takes is one TV camera to capture some wild-eyed lunatic screaming about "freedom" to screw the whole thing up.", I'm sure Microsoft would be happy to supply one. You can take credit for the idea though.

Anonymous said...

For a start, one could go to http://www.bestbuy.com.

While there, one may post many nice PROFESSIONAL messages in the product review sections.

It may have an effect, since many like to see what's on the net before going to a land store.

PV said...

Some of my family members disapprove (mom says that intentions are noble but Best Buy still needs to do business while dad doesn't even believe the presentation I described to him exists (he can be a bit prejudiced at times)), but next time I go to Best Buy, I'll specifically ask a salesperson about pros/cons of Windows 7 vs. Linux and then disprove them point by point.
If it happens (I don't know when I'm going to Best Buy next), I'll let you know what happens.

Anonymous said...

If you are not willing to do the things you are writing about then why are you trying to encourage other people to protest? And why are you complaining about bloggers who expose these falsehoods? Getting the information out their is the first step and someone has to do it.

David Meyers said...

@ Anonymous

You don't seem to be much for subtle contend do you.

Did you read the last couple of paragraphs/sentences. The guy said he had an Austin roster and that roster had one name on it.

Now just who do you think is on that roster.

Geez.

Anonymous said...

And no, I am not going to organize it...I've had too many disappointments in my life recently and I won't pile another one on the heap. quoted directly from the posting.

Andrew Magnus said...

I want to address the person who thought they were being smart by trying to turn Ken's words around on him by pasting the part that he would not organize any event such as mentioned.

First off, congratulations for not putting any name with your comment. You show the good sense not to identify yourself as someone between totally ignorant and a full-fledged jerk.

Let's take a look at what helios does. He builds and gives away hundreds of computers to disadvantaged kids a year. He helps organize events like Lindependence 2008 and Linux Against Poverty, and the next day goes a couple thousand miles and back in three days to get computers badly needed by his kids.

Then almost drops dead from exhaustion. He was hospitalized for the better part of two weeks and is just now getting back to work, weak as he is.

So you want to fault him for not having the time or possibly knowing the apathy his suggestions would be met by? This isn't his first rodeo partner. He knows us better than we know ourselves.

Yes, I think "anonymous" is the best way to post for you. At least you seem to have spell check enabled, oh wait. Never mind, you copy and pasted. Sorry for giving credit where it was not due.

Andrew Magnus
Austin Texas

Kevin said...

When I was a little lad, My parents cautioned me about advertisements and saying that marketing by nature is biased and "not believe everthing you read or hear."

Further, we're just now seeing Microsoft start the anti-Linux campaign in a public way. They're acknowledging the threat to windows market share.

I'll leave with a quote:

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win."
-- Mahatma Gandhi

Amenditman said...

Helios,

There is an even better way to protest this M$ FUD than the ones your post mentions.

Completely avoid any contact with the infected organism.

I used to spend a lot of free time perusing the shelves at the local Best Buy. I regularly left with a purchase of some sort. These were always registered to my "Best Buy Customer Rewards" account. It was over $100 every week of the year for many years, not including major purchases.

When I had my eyes fully jerked wide open about what M$ and their "Partners" were about I went into the store and let the manager know that I would no longer be a customer and would not enter the premises for any reason in the future. I then went home and called the customer rewards program and cancelled my account.

You betcha they asked, "why are you doing this, can we do anything to make you change your mind?" When I told them what I was objecting to they had no response.

I admit that I am only one person, but I spent a substantial amount of money there and they know exactly how much and what to do to get me back in the store. Will they do it? Probably not, very little hope after this latest escapade.

I know you want to know if there is anything I need from Best Buy that I can't get elsewhere and the answer is not yet.

Over two years and counting M$ and Best Buy free. I don't use Wine, Cedega, or Crossover and I don't miss much of anything from that side of the tech world.

So if you want to be heard by M$ and Best Buy, make them aware of the loss of a customer and make sure they know that you are helping others to get out.

Support companies that recommend and use GNU/Linux and FOSS. Spend all the extra $ supporting your favorite free software projects.

Spread the word to anyone you know before they go to Best Buy, et. al, and get sucked under.

The big stores will not change as long as M$, big OEMs, and Apple do their business.

WE change the world one computer user at a time. I tell two friends, they tell two friends, they tell two friends...FREEDOM.

amenditman

Anonymous said...

Hi Ken. I have also tried to email you in the past, and the email could not be delivered.

Some excellent points have been made by other commenters. If you talk to the sales folks at these stores, do not be confrontational. Be calm, and if they get angry, walk away. Getting angry at these folks is not going to help at all. Police officers are trained to remain calm and let the other guy get angry (not that the training always works). By remaining calm, you remain in control of the situation.

A little personal proof. Years ago I was a CB radio nut. There was another CBer who lived very close to me, and we interfered with each other a lot (without trying to, at least on my part).

This other CBer would always try to make me out to be an ass, by accusing me of deliberately interfering with her. I always remained calm and polite, and she only made an ass of herself. This always made her really mad, but there was nothing she could do, as she never had any proof (I never tried to interfere, it was inevitable...out antennas were less than 200 feet apart).

M$ is only finding new ways to do as they always done...play dirty. It just shows how scared they are of Linux, and FOSS, and open standards and file formats!

KB0HAE

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to help out, but right now my laptop is the one used on the Santa Maria all those years ago. It is a dinosaur, and is slow regardless of what you put on it.

And I HIGHLY doubt they'll let me waltz in and throw an Ubuntu disk into one of their shelf pieces.

If anyone here has any ideas of what I can do with nothing, I'm all ears.(or eyes as the case may be)

Keith Whittington said...

@ amenditman

I know you did not direct your comment at me but I want to discuss your ideas here.

Completely avoid any contact with the infected organism.


No. This is not a time for passive (all being relative) action. This is the time to go there and tell people that you KNOW they have been asked to say things that are not true and you want to know if they plan to carry that out. They of course will ask you what you mean and you show them a printed copy of the graphic helios provides in the blog. You deal with the store manager.

If he says yes or tends to agree with the document, then show him, or attempt to show him that it is false.

I am doing this tomorrow in Spokane.

People that read this blog or any Linux site are not going to get up and do as you suggest. They for the most part just don't care and the ones that do will not do so in the numbers needed.

There has to be firm, polite confrontation. That's the only way you unmask a liar.

Keith Whittington in Spokane

Shannon VanWagner said...

I sent a *cough.. nice email to best buy and here's what they responded to me with:

"News Center NewsCenter(at)bestbuy.com
to Shannon VanWagner
subject RE: It's not so nice to hear that your company is apparently selling LIES about the Linux operating system

hide details 1:47 PM (7 hours ago)

Hi Shannon:

Thank you for taking the time to express your concerns about references to Linux in the Microsoft Win 7 training. As you probably know, this training was developed and is owned by Microsoft for training employees of every retailer who will be carrying Win 7.

Best Buy has never expressed preference for one operating system over another. Our own training materials encourage our employees to make recommendations that are in the best interests of our customers, and not in the interests of a particular vendor or platform.

We appreciate your sharing your perspective on the benefits of Linux, and have shared your perspective with our Computing business team partners. Thank you again for reaching out to us with your concerns."

Michelle Minkin said...

Shannon

That was corporate-speak for go get bent.

Trust me...If you knew who I worked for, you would know I was trained in the art by the best.

What is "best" for their customers is being based on what they are being told.

Appreciate the effort. I am going to three stores Saturday in Seattle to talk to store managers.

Chelle

Shannon VanWagner said...

Hey I have an idea... I wonder if the guys at bestbuy or office depot or whatever will let you "test" your Ubuntu LiveCD on a machine that you might be interested in.

If someone was cordial enough, they could even provide some on-the-spot Linux comparison training for the employee right there. I mean really, what better thing do these salespeople have to do anyways? Do best buy guys work on commission?

Would be best to make your own LiveCD (perhaps a LiveDVD using Remastersys or something) with all the proprietary codecs and choice programs installed to do this though. Also, you could bring along your ipod/gtkpod rig.

Just a thought.

WE ARE *NIXED! said...

@Shannon: SuperOS might be the optimal choice in that situation. :)

gigi said...

Add one roster to Bucharest, Romania. Will comment on the actions I took.

Best regards,
Marian

Amenditman said...

@Keith

Sorry to give the impression that my suggestion was to be done instead of your direct action.

Quite the contrary, take any direct action you think will help.

BUT...

These huge corporations only stand up and take notice when money moves, either to them or away from them. Nothing wrong with that, they are retailers, it's what they exist to do.

That is the only motivation that will get them to change their business model.

@Anonymous

Really old laptop.... try MacPup, it is tiny, runs on nearly anything, supports both XOrg and XVesa, uses Enlightenment17. Trick it out really well before your 'presentation'. Anyone who knows hardware will be impressed by what your old dinosaur can be made to do well.

amenditman

seriouslycgi said...

i emailed my kids school principal telling him about linux, ltsp, userful, groovix, edubuntu etc. i told them about how their IT could cut costs and have an open LEARNING experience, i told them about the local lug, they could go and confirm and experience what i told them in the email. i told them about how my family has been m$ free for about 5 years now and how i havent paid one cent for a computer in that time (using recycled computer parts) and i can still do anything on a computer (maybe a bit slower but i have loads of spare computers too). i shut down the IT guys responses (that i predict they will have) by telling him about my 4 year old who switches on, logs on, and uses the internet on linux every day. my wife uses it and loves the fact i can install software remotely while she is still using the internet. and i havent needed to scan for viruses/malware because it was acting up. i havent heard anything back in over a week not even a "thanks for the suggestion". funny thing is they use childsplay so i guess its a start.

Dante said...

So, it begins.

Ken, I suggest you organise the pikemen, and calavery...

I'd like to draw everyone's attention to the Windows/Linux bit again, notice how Linux is in red? Old psychological trick (works on drivers spectacularly)

Oh, I just found something out you might like;

My college has three IT rooms named after the famous, we have the Charles Babbage Suite, the Alan Turing Suite and the Linus Torvold's Suite, seriously!



More then once have I gone into a major retailer and asked about Linux, I've never been told any crap about it, granted, they don't stock it, but many of them are fairly knowledgeable in the matter...though one fellow did try to sell me Norton Antivirus after I mentioned it....odd

Blog of helios said...

Dante,

Please pass along my gratitude to those naming the labs. Turling lived a horrible, tortured existence for two years after the abomination his body became when they chemically poisoned him. I don't believe you have to be any particular way to hold this man dear to your heart. I often wonder at how the lives of those who ultimately killed this man turned out. The darkest parts of me wish only the worst things for them...although they are probably all dead and gone.

Please pass along my thanks.

h

h

Gavin said...

Funny you should mention Alan Turing:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/politics/gordon-brown/6170112/Gordon-Brown-Im-proud-to-say-sorry-to-a-real-war-hero.html

Just two days ago!



I think the issues of the retailers should be handled by each person in his or her own way. I think it impossible for many people to go "cold turkey" so to speak as far as shopping at Best Buy or using Windows and whatnot. Espousing the "evils" of M$ and urging everyone to "stop the machine" will undoubtedly turn many Windows user away from Linux as if it were some sort of underground cult. (This is not what Amenditman or anyone else was saying, but it bears repeating.) Linux needs to be an option for people, not a sanctified replacement. After all, many Linux users who were once Windows users required a gradual change, so why not allow others the same?

For some Linux users (or even just M$ haters) it is best to simply stop patronizing Best Buy - to talk with money. For others, the idea of proving the marketing material to be incorrect is a better alternative. Whether the proof is administered to the employees or the customers is up to the individual person.


What M$ is doing here is hedging their bets. Technically, they are not actually lying in the legal sense with all of this marketing material. The laws concerning slander and libel in marketing and among companies in an economic aspect are far too simplified when it comes to technology. GNU, Linux, FOSS, et al are more likely to fit into the humanitarian sections of current law, which means the entire system becomes bogged down in interpretation when M$ is faced with open source concepts. Copyright theory alone could fill a library on the subjects of software and the internet! None of this is as concrete as people would like to think. Since Linux is a decentralized collection of free and open software on top of a common philosophy, the law oftentimes defaults to a common denominator. A series of examples, perhaps, that demonstrate Linux is unable to work with a family of iPods. Sure Ultimate Ubuntu works with such and such iPod, but does Debian? That is also Linux. What about Fedora? openSUSE? Is restricted software a factor? And which version is considered to be comparable to such and such version of Windows? Is it applicable under the law to pick an older distro when faced with Vista Home Basic and a newer one when faced with Vista Ultimate? Or is it moot because Linux is free? Does it matter if one OS is 32-bit and the other is 64-bit? This is simply the beginning of the legal process! It gets worse from here. Because in reality one can find a specific computer running Windows that will not work with one or several iPods due to an OEM problem, just as in reality one can find a specific distro of Linux that will not work with one or several iPods due to a non-default package. Technology itself is not concrete in its consistency, which makes it difficult to apply laws that pre-date personal computers.

Gavin said...

This is why we are at such a critical time in history, because we are at the cusp of a major historical period whether people know it or not. This technology "stuff" with the internet and computers all over the place and differing theories and implementations of hardware and software - this is it! This is where we are! Computing is not a fad, not some transitionary stage in our history of inventions. Computing will stay with us from now on, perhaps even beyond the point where we can recognize humanity. It is powering our homes and businesses and governments. It is entertaining us and working for us and allowing us to reach beyond our imaginations. It is in space and underwater, in the air and under our fingertips. And it continues to pervade us and surround us, for better or for worse. Given that computing is here to stay, which you would pick if you had the choice? For better or for worse?

Read the link about Alan Turing. Notice a common theme? 60 years ago in Britain, the law was wrong. That is not the only law to have been wrong, either. The law has been wrong many times before. This is understandable as the law is created by humans, and as fallible beings we are unable to create perfection on the first try! Or even on the hundredth try! The law has been wrong many before, it is wrong many times now, and it will probably be wrong many times in the future.

M$ is wrong. The law is also wrong, which is why M$ is not legally wrong. So again:

"What are you prepared to do?"

Will you allow M$ to continue? Will you allow M$ to run our home computers, to run our cars, our billboards, our particle accelerators, our spaceships? Will you allow M$ to ruin the next particle accelerator? Will you allow future generations to experience a BSOD in deep space? What do you think the EULA would look like for M$ Colony Cruiser Ultimate? Do you honestly think M$ would take legal responsibility for a random crash into a star? Or do you think we should force them to take legal responsibility?

For better or for worse, be prepared to do something.

- Gavin

Amenditman said...

@Gavin

Linux needs to be an option for people, not a sanctified replacement.


Although I am 100% Free Software, I agree completely that it must be a choice for each person to make. Otherwise, we are building nothing except the next Microsoft.

Our approach has to be simply to give every person all the information to make the choice for themselves.

No glamour, no glory, no aggressive confrontation. Not to the end user anyways. If we want to talk about a direct assault on Redmond, that's completely different.

@Gavin (2)

Will you allow M$ to continue? Will you allow M$ to run our home computers, to run our cars, our billboards, our particle accelerators, our spaceships?

OK, maybe they are currently running our computers, some cars, maybe even billboards. Particle accelerators and spaceships, not likely. They don't have much presence even on servers and they keep falling further behind in that market. NASA has used Unix/Linux for mission critical systems for a long time, so I really don't see the spaceships at all. Serious mission critical and life-threatening situations will never be controlled by Microsoft OS unless they start all over again and reinvent themselves.

Amenditman

Vardyr said...

I had previously written a long post about the best way to get through to those involved, but I don't remember if I actually submitted it or not.

Anyway... I'm on board, of course. If you were an insider, what would you do?

I'll see what I can come up with, as well.

Gavin said...

"Particle accelerators and spaceships, not likely. They don't have much presence even on servers and they keep falling further behind in that market."

- Amenditman

Haha! Yes, I am fully aware that M$ has nothing to do with these things right now. I was referring to the future as well as implying a reference to proprietary software in general. (And as an aside, I have seen what at least some of NASA is using in terms of computing, and wow! Ancient tech!)


"Serious mission critical and life-threatening situations will never be controlled by Microsoft OS unless they start all over again and reinvent themselves."

- Amenditman

Well... yes. But they have slowly been improving their enterprise products over the years. Windows NT was released in 1993, before which M$ had practically no market share of servers. A decade later, Windows Server 2003 was released, which was a marked improvement in general. Now of course we have Windows Server 2008 R2 coming as well as a bare metal hypervisor. M$ keeps improving and all of this is within 20 years. Yes, it is very slow progress and there is reason to think they are slowing to a stop, but how long will it be until we are colonizing planets? And how certain are we that M$ is the only proprietary game in town? What about Apple's Xserve line, which is also a very recent development?

I believe that FOSS et al have a very good chance of running on our Colony Cruisers in the future, but only if we continue to work towards that goal. Sitting around assuming that because FOSS is better it will rule the world is just asking for trouble.

And I call dibs on the Colony Cruiser name! :P Registered! Registered!

- Gavin

Colonel Panik said...

Great stuff in these comments.

Can you imagine how much money the
Rogues from Redmond are spending on this
training? Why? Because Linux is getting
into their pocket big time.

Each of us in our own way must do something. Do. That is the biggest thing I have learned from Mr. Starks. Do.

Next Saturday is Software Freedom Day. Fine the nearest event and support the hell out of it.

Shannon VanWagner said...

To me, one of the core ideas of the FOSS movement is about interoperability of technology. I believe that technology can never achieve its fullest potential until it is fully Interoperable. Of specific importance, is the adherence to open/cross-platform standards. To me, FOSS means OPEN. Open for interoperability, open for connection, open for import/export, open for innovation, open for leverage by everyone who is willing, and open for a shared success of everyone involved.

For a perfect example of the utter destruction of open standards and purposeful blockage to other technological means, look no further than the Outlook(R) email program. This is a program that does not store email in a standards friendly, open, inter-operable or even a forward-looking technologically sensible way. This is a blatant form of vendor-lock of something (email) that is supposed to be friendly and available to everyone on the planet.

To see the pain of this utter lock-in, you simply have to try to move a sizable Email store for user from a Windows(R) machine with Outlook(R) to a Mac OSX(R) machine with Entourage(R). Even if you use MSFT software on both ends, you will not be able to easily import email from your PST files. How easily do you think MSFT could make a utility for this? MSFT software is not even interoperable with itself across platforms. Coming to the Windows(R) platform from the Mac OSX(R) platform however, is simple, because the Mac OSX(R) versions(not to mention Thunderbird, Evolution, Eudora, etc.) store email in the .mbox format, which is easily exportable to any other standard email program.

So, in my opinion, this is why MSFT is demonized by so many, because the above situation is but one example that provides evidence that MSFT uses aggressive, and willfully destructive behavior to defeat open standards and interoperability. To me, this means they are destroying technology, and yes I do take offense to that - alot! MSFT is not the only one who does this type of thing, but because of their size and market share - they are effectively the biggest target. In a military operation - it's the enemy's largest gun, that is doing the most damage, that should be taken out first.

Something that is unfortunate, is when people sympathize with the blatant lock-in operation that these aggressive companies extoll onto technology and the rest of us. I like to believe it's because they simply don't understand the breadth of the damage that is occuring... but unfortunately sometimes, it's for other (usually monetarily driven) reasons.

So things are starting to change, regular people are becoming aware that technology must be interoperable, and GNU/Linux and FOSS are taking off (not that they were behind in the server market anyway).

GNU/Linux/FOSS are humans enabled with technology. To the future!

Gavin said...

Do NOT even get me started on Outlook!! That program family is evil with a capital pitchfork! It is unstable when used with any standards-based protocol (POP, IMAP, etc) and cannot even work well with previous versions of itself! And why are Outlook and Outlook Express as compatible with each other as Thunderbird is to a dead fish!? Outlook and Outlook Express work well in an Exchange environment, but that is like saying Windows is perfectly stable and secure as long as the computer is turned off! OFFLB.EXE - enough said.

Whoever made the business decisions behind the development of the Outlook projects should be strapped to the axles of my car this winter for increased traction on ice! And they had better say "I am deeply sorry to the very core of my soul" at least once every quarter mile!

- Gavin

Wes Crucius said...

I see several people expressing the opinion that Best Buy would NEVER allow one of their machines to be booted from a Linux LiveCD. I just wanted to say that is not true (sure, I was surprised too) as I have personally done it on three different occasions (with permission from a non-Linux sales person/manager), most recently about 9 months ago. The only issue was that some machines were locked down such that they could not be convinced to boot from CD, I just bypassed those and kept on looking. In the end, the sales person began to express genuine interest after seeing Ubuntu 8.10 in action, and I even gave him the CD to keep when I was done (and had selected a nice Toshiba laptop as a Christmas gift for my wife). If anyone doubts this, all I can tell you is that it was the Best Buy in Delafield, Wisconsin (a burb town about 40 miles west of Milwaukee).

Matthew said...

"The big stores will not change as long as M$, big OEMs, and Apple do their business."

Sorry, but... they won't change as long as people love money more than their fellow man.

Oh, and Scott Adams knows exactly what Microsoft is up to.

Praxis I said...

It don't matter, what are you prepared to do.Only matters what you can do in professional manner.

Anonymous said...

Andrew Magnus

The only way you would know if an individual copied and pasted the content of a message would be if you were spying on the individuals who are using this site. You as well as this sites administrators have a lot of explaining to do.

David Meyers said...

@ anonymous

I would be willing to guess that if the person making the post was not a complete incompetent, they would have copied and pasted the text. First, it is word for word. No one that I know that uses a computer in any typing form would type something word for word when they have a copy and paste option. You're just trying to cause problems where none exist.

Smelling salts might be of help I believe.

Brett Legree said...

The only one of these stores relatively close to me is Staples - so looks like I have my target then.

Most of the folks where I live tend to buy their computers there... and it would be best if they were well informed, right?

:)

(It's always been a little "hobby" of mine to go into computer stores, listen in on the salesdroids trying to sell people stuff they don't need, and then correct them. I've been asked to leave before!)

Anonymous said...

USE LINUX, BE HAPPY!